So, here I am in Baa. Thulhaadhoo for my Teaching Practicum, an entire atoll away from my home island, alone.
Well, maybe not technically alone since I did come with 4 other students from my Uni, one of whom is not only my close friend but a resident of Thulhaadhoo and most of us are living together under one roof. However, this is the first time I've travelled away from home without any family - even my "parent-less" visit to Malaysia in 2010 was with an uncle and cousin - so yeah, I'm pretty much all alone here.
Am I loving it? Yes and no.
It is both exhilarating and nerve-wrecking, the thought of fending for myself. Having lived under my parents' roof for 20 years, I guess it is natural to be nervous about doing things on my own.
Not that I am good-for-nothing or anything; I mean, I do do chores around the house etc, but it's always been Mum and I as a team-of-sorts. I was particularly terrified about the have-to-cook-for-myself part. Mum has always been the official chef of the house; I'm pretty much the assistant kitchen girl or something to that effect. Sorely lacking official cooking experience.
But, alhamdulillah, I guess things do have a way of settling themselves. Us girls cook as a group (since we're sort of share-housing here) and whatever skills I've learned from Mum, I've managed to implement them without really realising it. I cooked things on my own that I never have even tried before and the taste turned out actually pretty OK. Totally edible. xD
Won't lie, that made me feel so relieved and good about myself, because apart from not wanting to humiliate myself in front of the rest of my housemates, I also feel the need to live up to the high expectations my relatives have for me when it comes to cooking. They all assume I'm awesome at it just because my mother is the best damn cook in our entire clan. Sometimes, it pisses me off - what, is it something that can be inherited or something? - but being forced to take my own crash course in cooking ever since I came here and discovering that I actually can make good food, I feel like I'm sort of proving myself.
So, cooking is fine. And living on our own is turning out to be fine, too. All of us can handle the household chores like cleaning and laundry, and we help out with preparing each other's lesson plans and teaching aids.Also, since my friend is staying at her husband's house, I can have our room in the share-house all to myself. Yay privacy and a queen-sized bed to hog all I want! xD I'm so used to having my own room - and the ridiculous amount of value I put into my personal space and privacy - so I was internally jumping for joy 8D
As for the TP itself, hmm, what can I say...? Thulhaadhoo is a small, quaint little island. Not many huge trees. Lots of houses. Hot in the late mornings and afternoons. And what with Hulhangu monsoon, the clouds get in the way of any breathtaking sunsets it may have. Not much of a lovely beach or sea, either. Mostly just the habour and lagoon. I also haven't had time to properly look around the island, busy as I am at the island school, which is pretty much as quaint and old-fashioned as the island.
I don't mean that in a bad way; just that they still use the old blackboard and chalk method for teaching. I've grown kinda accustomed to all the technological services available at our Uni and we did our preparations using those, so it's a bit of a challenge to revert back to the old style. But I don't mind much. It's more work, but I'm kinda enjoying it... :)
The first week is over, which was just full observation of the classes I'll be teaching. Thankfully, the Science kids seem pretty manageable. The 8th grade class is almost boring at times, they are so silent. Thankfully the 9th grade class is pretty fun. A little hectic sometimes, but fun ^^
The second week started today and I was supposed to take my first lesson today, which is Bio for the 8th grade class. I had butterflies in my stomach since yesterday and I watched a movie last night 'cause I didn't feel like sleeping though I should've slept well for my first teaching lesson instead of watching half of what legit classifies as porn (I didn't know it had porn, though >.> But it's interesting - A Frozen Flower ) and ended being almost late to school and I spent the first hour rereading my lesson plan over and over again because I cannot mess up on my first teaching day, but none of it even mattered in the end because I was told that a previously postponed unit test had been scheduled to take place during my Bio period, so in the end, I didn't get to teach after all. UGH. So frustrating! Because it means that I gotta wait another 24 hours with those darn butterflies in my gut; at least I can overcome my nervousness after the first lesson. I hate having to wait for it...
There really is nothing much to say really, cos not much has happened. The PTA had a cleaning day to celebrate Working Day this last Saturday and we spent hours doing paid housework for people around the island and cleaning the boatyard etc. It was pretty great; lots of community service and getting to know other teachers better and yada yada yada.
So, my first full week here has been pretty uneventful. But I feel it was also very character building. I'm learning to be very independent and I like it :)
I miss everyone at home, though ... Little more than four weeks more before I return. Can't wait, seriously ^^